Altered brain wave activity in persons with chronic spinal cord injury

D. Herbert, Y. Tran, A. Craig*, P. Boord, J. Middleton, P. Siddall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated brain wave activity associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). Electroencephalograms (EEG) were compared between 10 individuals with SCI and 10 age and sex matched able-bodied controls using a 64-channel EEG montage. SCI participants had chronic (>12 months) paraplegic clinically complete injuries. The 64 channels of EEG data were spread diffusely over the cortex and were compared for delta (2-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), and beta (13-30 Hz) wave components of the EEG frequency spectra. No significant magnitude or directional changes were found in the delta (2-4 Hz) or theta (4-8 Hz) wave frequency bands between these two groups. However, significant and consistent decreased alpha wave (8-13 Hz) and increased beta wave activity (13-30 Hz) were found in the SCI participants across the cortex compared to the able-bodied control group. These findings suggest that the SCI group have increased neural processing compared to the able-bodied individuals, which may be related to ongoing reorganization of brain structures following SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1731-1746
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain wave activity
  • EEG
  • Electroencephalography
  • Spinal cord injuries


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